Step aside, G&T: Tequila takes its place with tonic

20 November 2018

You probably heard about Patrón teaming up with Fever-Tree recently, in large part because the result, a tonic perfectly matched to the distillery’s blanco, was pretty damn good. The time for the Tequila & Tonic more generally may have finally arrived.

‘T&Ts are G&Ts for the cool kids,’ said Ben Alcock of Her Majesty's Secret Service and Filthy Thirteen. ‘It’s very in fashion at the moment, even if it doesn’t have the pull of gin just yet. Now and again we get groups ordering them, and then they seem to fly out, but it seems to need an introduction. I think the Fever-Tree and Patrón pairing is going to do wonders for tequila in general, opening it up to new drinkers who may have been a little intimidated by tequila before – and having a shiny new tonic for people to try is awesome.’

Over at Dandelyan, Dan Garnell reported seeing the beginnings of this too. ‘Tequila & Tonic sales are definitely improving, although still a relatively unknown serve in the UK. We normally recommend a T&T to guests who are looking for something slightly more unusual than the go-to G&T or vodka, lime and soda.’

Before Patrón and Fever-Tree’s big launch, Sekforde had already made a move into the agave-long-drink space with its dedicated mixer for tequila and mezcal. ‘The Sekforde range lend themselves well to highball-style drinks,’ said Josh Powell at Ladies & Gentlemen. ‘It’s different to tonic, so I don’t see it being used in place of that, but it definitely has its place, and I see it growing to rival tonic pairings in the future.’

There’s no shortage of received wisdom and collective experience when it comes to the ubiquitous G&T, but when it comes to tequila, this is relatively new territory, which offers some interesting creative potential.

‘To balance a T&T perfectly, you have to take into consideration all the various elements of tequila including floral, spice and citrus notes,’ suggested Garnell.

James Stevenson of JKS Restaurants gave us some more tips: ‘I find lowland blanco tequila to work best due to its more vegetal, grassy notes, perhaps with a splash of Manzanilla sherry. For a more spritzy vibe, reposado tequila with peach liqueur, tonic and an olive is hard to beat.’

‘I would recommend sticking to blanco tequila, as the fresh agave notes really pair well with the tonic water,’ suggested Greg Almeida, formerly of Scarfes Bar. ‘Then I love playing around with garnishes: citrus fruits, berries, spices, flowers, pickled or fermented fruits. You can go as wild and seasonal as you wish.’

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